To mark the first anniversary of the Prime Minister’s apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants on 16 November 2009, the first collection of many of their stories, recorded by the National Library of Australia, have been made public.

The National Library’s Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants Oral History project features interviews with some of the adults, who as children were placed in care in Australia or were sent here from the United Kingdom and Malta under sponsored child migration schemes.

Many of the memories remain raw for these adults who as children were raised in institutions and foster care throughout the last century. The stories range from the girl who felt she ‘didn’t belong to anybody’ to the boy who returned to the UK after many years only to discover his mother had been told he had died. People who worked in the institutions, as well as the children’s advocates, also tell their stories.

Manager of the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants Oral History Project at the National Library, Dr Joanna Sassoon, said the stories needed to be told.

‘These oral histories are an important part of Australia’s history so we want to record the stories of people who were in care as children, their family members, campaigners and advocates for these children and also people who worked in the institutions.’

The oral histories are online at: Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history interviews
People interested in being interviewed for the ongoing project can find more information at

Dr Joanna Sassoon is available for interview.
Audio of some of the recorded interviews is also available

Media Contact:

Sally Hopman | Media Liaison Manager | National Library of Australia |
t: +61 (0)2 6262 1704 | m: 0401 226 697 | e: |